It was hard not to miss Neil Finn working up and recording ‘Out Of Silence’ in August.
A project to try out new material and then record it over four Friday night sessions with a chorus of friends plus orchestra was streamed online, featuring a mix of older, crowd-pleasing material and newer songs that ended up on the album.
Those new songs don’t disappoint. Chameleon Days is deceptively breezy musically, while the plaintive and impressionistic Alone is a much-missed opportunity to hear both Finn brothers sing together.
Make no mistake, there are shadows here in the minor keys and dark themes.
Terrorise Me is a personal response to the Paris Bataclan attacks while Widow’s Peak talks of war.
I Know Different paints a picture of troubles in a long-time relationship.
‘Out of Silence’ is an album that is mostly ruminative and rhythmically still, although the rhythm-section-led Second Nature is a pop gem that combines a backbeat, an orchestra and a groove.
Finn engaged a cast of talented NZ musicians to work with on his record, from Victoria Kelly’s elegant orchestral arrangements, and the understated performance by the Infinity Orchestra to the chorus.
Neil Finn has always been a gifted melodicist and arranger, and the material on ‘Out Of Silence’ is some of his most resonant and eloquent.